Greatest high school football player in Connecticut history | The Boneyard

Greatest high school football player in Connecticut history

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Just throwing a few names around, some I remember first hand. Wondering what you guys think? I suppose you can include those that blossomed after high school and turned into great players in college or the pros, a rare thing but it has happened, but I was thinking of the great HS players that dominated the CT HS gridion, of course some went on to bigger and better things while some others for whatever reason didn't.

Bobby Valentine, Andrew Pinnock, Rico Brogna, John Sullivan, Andy Rosbustelli, Pete Demmerle, Carm Cozza, Floyd Little, Kurt Horton, Walt Dropo, Sandy Osiecki, Bill Romanowski, Dwight Freeney, Tarek Saleh, Steve Young......I know I'm missing some. Some on this board might be surprised with Bobby Valentine, but he was the only CT high school football player to ever make 1st team all-state 3 years in a row and Rippowam HS won the state championship 1 or 2 years when BobbyV played there.

Chime in on the ones I missed, especially the long forgotten ones from the 40's & 50's
 
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others not mentioned Tebucky Jones sr, Danny O, Aaron Hernandez (DJ wasnt too bad either), Jermelle Lewis (would be in the NFL had he not torn up his knee like Caulley). I can only go with what I saw I will say John Sullivan the way he controlled a game, he was also an outstanding wrestler btw his matches would be last one minute max.
 
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If I had to vote for the greatest of all time I'm probably casting my ballot for Floyd Little.

Also worth mentioning is Rich Diana. Played at Hamden and Yale before a brief stint in the NFL with the Dolphins. Is now a successful orthopedic surgeon in the New Haven area.
 

epark88

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RICO BROGNA

I played against him in HS, and he was the real deal. I was thisclose to sacking him, but he broke out of my grasp. Shoot.

But our defense did manage to shut Brogna down that game...for one half. If he wouldn't have gone off for 42 pts in the 1st half, we would've pitched a goose egg against him...
 
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How about Willie Hall (Saints & Super Bowl Champions Raiders) and Tommy Myers (Pro Bowl Safety New Orleans)? Both played at Pulaski High School (New Britain).
 
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Nick Pietrosante, multiple Pro Bowls, 1st round pick.
Steve Young, Dwight Freeney, Floyd Little probably the top
 
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We've had this discussion before :) Lots of guys to talk about. Tim Washington was an electric offensive player but I don't know where he ended up after going to Syracuse. Romanowski's career is undeniable. Etc. Etc. If you loko at the record books, the names jump out.

Best overall athlete I've personally seen as a high school kid age, is Brogna hands down. The kid did everything on the field except play defense, and he probably could ahve been a shut down coverage DB too if he played every down on both sides of the ball. Top 5 I think passer all time, kicked field goals 50+ yards, state champion winner QB, 1,000+ point scorer in basketball, double digit winner baseball pitcher. had college programs offering him scholarships for multiple sports left and right, but got drafted to MLB out of high school and made a career there.
 
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Well before any of our times...How about Ken Strong at West Haven? He's in the NFL Hall of Fame
 

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"Best overall athlete I've personally seen as a high school kid age, is Brogna hands down. The kid did everything on the field except play defense, and he probably could ahve been a shut down coverage DB too if he played every down on both sides of the ball. Top 5 I think passer all time, kicked field goals 50+ yards, state champion winner QB, 1,000+ point scorer in basketball, double digit winner baseball pitcher. had college programs offering him scholarships for multiple sports left and right, but got drafted to MLB out of high school and made a career there."

If best hs athlete over all is the question, Scott Burrell fits somewhere near the top.
 
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Doug Dubose from Montville in early 80's. Played at Nebraska for 4 years then went on to a brief stint with the 49ers. In terms of most dominating at the high school level he has to get consideration.
 
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I brought up the criteria of overall athlete thing, and also the criteria of palyers that I've personally seen.

There's so many players in a discussion like this. The kid coming to UConn in the spring to compete for the QB position I believe is the current all time leader in passing. Tough to argue against him as being the best high school player, if you're going to restrict it to the high school gridiron only.

I'm not sure if Burrell played football did he? i don't remember him playing. anyway, when you've got a kid on the field that's playing the QB position for several years in high school, throwing for record yardage, record #'s of TD's, winning state championships, can also run the ball pretty well, and is getting recruited to major colleges on top of all that, for being able to punt with NFL type distance and hang time, and kick field goals regularly 50+ yards? That's a highly talented high school football player.

I don't recall another H.S. football player in CT that I've seen play with my own eyes, that was able to do everything Brogna did on the field.
 
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We've had this discussion before :) Lots of guys to talk about. Tim Washington was an electric offensive player but I don't know where he ended up after going to Syracuse. Romanowski's career is undeniable. Etc. Etc. If you loko at the record books, the names jump out.

Best overall athlete I've personally seen as a high school kid age, is Brogna hands down. The kid did everything on the field except play defense, and he probably could ahve been a shut down coverage DB too if he played every down on both sides of the ball. Top 5 I think passer all time, kicked field goals 50+ yards, state champion winner QB, 1,000+ point scorer in basketball, double digit winner baseball pitcher. had college programs offering him scholarships for multiple sports left and right, but got drafted to MLB out of high school and made a career there.

Washington did his 4th year at UMass, helping them to the championship in 2006. I think Matt Lawrence was on the same team after transferring from UConn.
 
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Just throwing a few names around, some I remember first hand. Wondering what you guys think? I suppose you can include those that blossomed after high school and turned into great players in college or the pros, a rare thing but it has happened, but I was thinking of the great HS players that dominated the CT HS gridion, of course some went on to bigger and better things while some others for whatever reason didn't.

Bobby Valentine, Andrew Pinnock, Rico Brogna, John Sullivan, Andy Rosbustelli, Pete Demmerle, Carm Cozza, Floyd Little, Kurt Horton, Walt Dropo, Sandy Osiecki, Bill Romanowski, Dwight Freeney, Tarek Saleh, Steve Young......I know I'm missing some. Some on this board might be surprised with Bobby Valentine, but he was the only CT high school football player to ever make 1st team all-state 3 years in a row and Rippowam HS won the state championship 1 or 2 years when BobbyV played there.

Chime in on the ones I missed, especially the long forgotten ones from the 40's & 50's

I'l throw out Al Palumbo of Norwalk HS. My dad used to talk about him as a man among boys. A football and track star, he was being recruited by Notre Dame until a doctor thought he found a heart problem that ended his dream. He went on to have a distinguished career as a firefighter. Just by chance I found this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E9VUoEtmGA&feature=player_embedded
 
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Burrell played at Hamden.

There are a lot of kids who were unheralded because they played for small schools. Look at a kid like Chris Hetherington at North Branford. He was unknown, played D1AA, then went on to have a rather long NFL career as a starter.
 
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KENNY TINNEY OF ANSONIA HIGH. best electrofying player to play h.s. football in CT. hands down!
did'nt have the work ethic to play on next level. roomates with SHONN GREEN JETS/ SHADY MCCOY EAGLES at milford academy.
they speak to tinney via facebook and reminds him he's suppose to be playing on sundays! my buddy K.T. just did'nt want it. but i stand firm to argue best h.s. player 4.33

http://rivals.yahoo.com/wisconsin/football/recruiting/recruit-photos-31443
 
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I brought up the criteria of overall athlete thing, and also the criteria of palyers that I've personally seen.

There's so many players in a discussion like this. The kid coming to UConn in the spring to compete for the QB position I believe is the current all time leader in passing. Tough to argue against him as being the best high school player, if you're going to restrict it to the high school gridiron only.

I'm not sure if Burrell played football did he? i don't remember him playing. anyway, when you've got a kid on the field that's playing the QB position for several years in high school, throwing for record yardage, record #'s of TD's, winning state championships, can also run the ball pretty well, and is getting recruited to major colleges on top of all that, for being able to punt with NFL type distance and hang time, and kick field goals regularly 50+ yards? That's a highly talented high school football player.

I don't recall another H.S. football player in CT that I've seen play with my own eyes, that was able to do everything Brogna did on the field.
I saw both Brogna and Horton play, and while I will say that Brogna was the better overall athlete and did so many things well at QB, I will also say that as a pure passer that Horton was unmatched in state history, many of his records still stand today 40 years later. That being said, his main target in HS was Pete Demmerle, maybe the best receiver the state ever produced, so he did have that great advantage. Both played for Ara Parseghian at ND, with Demmerle making All-American 2 years in a row. Those two were the main reason New Canaan won 34 games in a row in the late 60's/early 70's. Demmerle blew his knee on the last game of his college career at ND, which killed any NFL career. Don't know what happened to Horton, didn't play pro ball after ND.

http://www.saints-football.com/uploads/FBRecords[1].pdf
 
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Amari Spievey from Xavier. Best natural athlete I ever shared the field with (including DJ and Aaron Hernandez, Kory Sheets)
 

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Burrell was a highly touted QB, a FIRST ROUND baseball pitching draftee and, of course a hoops great who got to the NBA. I never saw him play football, but supposedly he was a terrific football player.

A guy from my era and my hs (Weaver) was a great all around hs athlete named John Lee. He was 1st team all-state in the 3 major sports, went on to play minor league football and baseball. He was as good a hs passer as you can imagine and had a great attitude. He had a football scholarship to Arizona State which for reasons which need not be discussed here and for which it would not be the slightest concern in today's world, the scholarship was pulled before he played a down and he wound up going to a small college out west. For that matter, Lee's peer at Hartford High, Eddie Griffin, was a super basketball player and very good running back, not sure if he played baseball. But recruiting was a bit different in the 1960s and a lot of good athletes did not wind up at "major" programs.
 
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